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Double Rotary and bicycles.

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Double Rotary and bicycles.

Old 05-08-19, 04:04 PM
  #1  
starkmojo
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Double Rotary and bicycles.

There is a fairly new double rotary on my commute and I have tried a couple ways through it without feeling entirely safe. you can see it Here. When I try and use the crosswalk no one stops and it is pretty busy. I am headed north which requires me to be in the left lane of the first rotary, then get to the right for the second if I ride through it. Problem is no one wants me to ride through it- last week I even got yelled at by a guy driving a telescopic manlift around it! (manlifts are limited to a fast walking speed so I was passing him when he yelled at me.) . Before and after it there are pretty decent bike lanes (although the northbound one just vanishes into a bus stop without warning dumping the rider on a busy two lane road. but that's another question)

So my question is what would y'all do in this situation? Mostly I just take a lane and roll through it, figuring the sign says 15 MPH and I am doing at least that due to the sudden rush of adrenalin but maybe there is something I haven't thought of.
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Old 05-08-19, 09:41 PM
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The google map photos are old and do not show the fairly new double rotary.
Only the map is current.
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Old 05-09-19, 04:40 AM
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Originally Posted by starkmojo;20920400[b
There is a fairly new double rotary on my commute and I have tried a couple ways through it without feeling entirely safe. you can see it Here. When I try and use the crosswalk no one stops and it is pretty busy. I am headed north which requires me to be in the left lane of the first rotary, then get to the right for the second if I ride through it...

Before and after it there are pretty decent bike lanes (although the northbound one just vanishes into a bus stop without warning dumping the rider on a busy two lane road. but that's another question)

So my question is what would y'all do in this situation? Mostly I just take a lane and roll through it, figuring the sign says 15 MPH and I am doing at least that due to the sudden rush of adrenalin but maybe there is something I haven't thought of.
I can’t quite figure out this “double rotary,” but here in Boston, rotaries are common. I have posted about my seemingly uncommon personal strategy, FWIW:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I use both left and right rearview mirrors, in my case Take-a-Look eyeglass mounted ones. I got the idea from a cycling companion who used only a right hand mirror.

The additional right hand mirror affords a pretty good rearward view, but is particularly useful [including]:

  • ...
  • In a rotary
  • On a curved road to the right
  • When passing entrance/exit ramps from a freeway, with the right hand mirror, I can view the ramps to my right, and stay wide of them, while watching upcoming traffic on my left, all while almost continuously looking straight ahead [as I do in a rotary...right, left and straight ahead]
  • ...
    Originally Posted by Stun View Post
    My experience is that people drive differently in every city and treat cyclists very differently. The best advice often comes from cyclists that live the closest to you

    The exception here would also be Jim from Boston--anyone that can successfully commute around Boston has my full respect and probably knows how to deal with about every intersection imaginable!
    Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
    LISTEN to @Jim from Boston

    he knows his $hit!

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-09-19 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 05-09-19, 07:18 AM
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Here and here is the new rotary.

We call them "peanut" rotaries around here. They are mostly new, one planned for Inman Square in Cambridge, and one planned for Kelley Square in Worcester. An old sort of peanut rotary is in Concord center at Monument Square. The double rotary had one rotary that was yield to traffic in the rotary and one that was yield to traffic out of the rotary. What could go wrong? They finally made both of them yield to traffic in the rotary, but this is Greater Boston. There are some "creative" self-imposed rules for navigating it, including what no left turn sign, what do you mean no left turn? Why should *I* have to go around the long way?





But a peanut turbo rotary? That's "creative."


Some ways to get through that thing on a bicycle:






  • Take the lane going in the direction you want to go, and forget about the perceived anger directed your way. (Use a mirror!)
  • On the sidewalks and crosswalks. (There used to be beg buttons at the intersection, why are there none now?)
  • Ignore the turbo, take the outside lane and wave wildly at traffic behind you on your inside and merge illegally at the last moment into the direction you want to go. (Most problematic where there are two exiting lanes.)
  • Find an alternate route.
You'll have to figure out what works for you, or at least what works least bad for you.

Anyhow, many of us have to face the rotaries from hell and make our own disparate choices.

For example, I won't ride through the Concord Prison Rotary, and will ride well out of my way up hills to avoid it, but @rumrunn6 goes through it all the time.

I'll ride through the Sears Rotary (no longer a Sears no longer a Rotary) and ride through the Medford Rotary, but ironically have the most problems at this tiny rotary on the border of Arlington and West Medford, slow but one over wide lane, which seems to invite stupid is as stupid does.


Good luck.

-mr. bill

Last edited by mr_bill; 05-09-19 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 05-09-19, 07:40 AM
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They're putting in a big one at a very busy freeway offramp pretty close to me. Should be entertaining. I anticipate one of those security videos where I car hits it at maximum velocity and launches about 30 feet in the air.

Southern Californians are not built equipped to handle roundabouts.
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Old 05-09-19, 09:03 AM
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I've ridden a rotary or two but my willingness is based on predictability. also, easy in / easy out w/ little impact on motor traffic. the OP's dilemma sounds challenging for sure

in no particular order here is a compilation of my rides thru the Concord Prison rotary




jump to 1:00



I prefer intersections where bikes are given priority



of course bike rotaries are waaaay safer for bikes ...

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Old 05-09-19, 09:29 AM
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No experience with double rotaries, but my strategy to getting through rotaries varies. If it's marked as 15 mph, I'm probably taking the lane, unless there's a lot of room on the right and I'm taking the first exit.

Unfortunately, the speeds, exit layouts, and the opportunity to avoid crossing lanes vary so much from circle to circle that I cannot lay out a general strategy for how to deal with them, and have to rely on my ability to adapt to the particular situation.
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Old 05-09-19, 09:35 AM
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we have crosswalks to avoid going 3/4 of the way around a roundabout, that replaced a T intersection where

202 ends into 101..

getting off and walking the bike works well in that situation..
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Old 05-09-19, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
No experience with double rotaries, but my strategy to getting through rotaries varies. If it's marked as 15 mph, I'm probably taking the lane, unless there's a lot of room on the right and I'm taking the first exit.

Unfortunately, the speeds, exit layouts, and the opportunity to avoid crossing lanes vary so much from circle to circle that I cannot lay out a general strategy for how to deal with them, and have to rely on my ability to adapt to the particular situation.
I feel the same way, even w the rotary I ride thru often. every ride is different. sometimes I make good choices, sometimes I think I could have done better. but riding thru a rotary with cars always involves judgement calls & relying on driver consideration. I think we or I set myself up for potential lethal encounters. I'd rather not do that anymore
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Old 05-09-19, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
we have crosswalks to avoid going 3/4 of the way around a roundabout, that replaced a T intersection where

202 ends into 101..

getting off and walking the bike works well in that situation..
In New England, such crosswalks are very rare. I think I may have seen one once, and I ride in traffic circles a lot.
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Old 05-09-19, 12:11 PM
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Before anyone says that rotaries are not compatible with bicycling, this parent and child are terrified of "salmoning" around the rotary here:



-mr. bill

Last edited by mr_bill; 05-09-19 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 05-09-19, 02:00 PM
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I grew up in Winchester Mass and my Uncle used to run a Ballet school in Concord. You guys are reviving some great memories of where I learned how much fun it is to play in traffic
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Old 05-10-19, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by starkmojo View Post
I grew up in Winchester Mass and my Uncle used to run a Ballet school in Concord. You guys are reviving some great memories of where I learned how much fun it is to play in traffic
Those places are a picnic compared to riding in Lynn and Revere. I think the large number of bike paths that go through or end near Concord have trained the drivers there to be a bit better than in a lot of other places. When I ride through Lynn, I feel like there's a lot of "spite" unsignaled turns and the like taken in front of me. Seems like the capitol of "zoom up from behind and turn into a driveway in front of" maneuvers.
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Old 05-14-19, 03:04 PM
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We don't use the roads, you can see here where all the mup works around a roundabout via underpasses. All our roundabouts have this, with bridges or underpasses on main roads, or crossings on small residential roads. Attempting to use a roundabout is suicide. Some people take this one at over 70mph - the speed limit all four ways. It's 200yds from a McDonald's.

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Old 05-15-19, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
We don't use the roads, you can see here where all the mup works around a roundabout via underpasses. All our roundabouts have this, with bridges or underpasses on main roads, or crossings on small residential roads. Attempting to use a roundabout is suicide. Some people take this one at over 70mph - the speed limit all four ways. It's 200yds from a McDonald's.
love how that shows 3 lanes of traffic entering the circle. so which is your high speed lane? the right one?

sorry, what does the McDonald's have to do with it?
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Old 05-15-19, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Before anyone says that rotaries are not compatible with bicycling, this parent and child are terrified of "salmoning" around the rotary
maybe they would be less terrified if they were both wearing helmets?
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Old 05-15-19, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
maybe they would be less terrified if they were both wearing helmets?
The number of bicycle helmets I saw that week could be counted on two hands. A few Germans on bikes, a few Danes on bikes, and one American (don't know how we can claim two continents) on a bike. Helmeted or not, everyone was equally terrified.

(Oh, plus another dozen bicycle helmets worn by one group on Segways.)

-mr. bill
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Old 05-15-19, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
group on Segways
Wifey's cousin's Hubby crashed his segway, bashed his face & teeth & broke a cpl bones in his arm & elbow. dunno how much a helmet would have helped, but can't imagine it wouldn't have
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Old 05-17-19, 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by starkmojo View Post
There is a fairly new double rotary on my commute and I have tried a couple ways through it without feeling entirely safe. you can see it Here. When I try and use the crosswalk no one stops and it is pretty busy. I am headed north which requires me to be in the left lane of the first rotary, then get to the right for the second if I ride through it. Problem is no one wants me to ride through it- last week I even got yelled at by a guy driving a telescopic manlift around it! (manlifts are limited to a fast walking speed so I was passing him when he yelled at me.) . Before and after it there are pretty decent bike lanes (although the northbound one just vanishes into a bus stop without warning dumping the rider on a busy two lane road. but that's another question)

So my question is what would y'all do in this situation? Mostly I just take a lane and roll through it, figuring the sign says 15 MPH and I am doing at least that due to the sudden rush of adrenalin but maybe there is something I haven't thought of.
Contact ODOT and explain the situation and also law enforcement. We can and do monitor and enforce traffic problems and assist all road users in this state, regardless of what anybody else thinks.

PS Don't pass construction equipment like that without full recognition between you and the other party and use another part of the road or an alternate route if necessary. You have no clue of any hazards above or below otherwise possibly and if he yelled at you he was no doubt concerned about safety for both of you. Those lifts are for high reaches, not rock solid stability.
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Old 05-17-19, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
Contact ODOT and explain the situation and also law enforcement. We can and do monitor and enforce traffic problems and assist all road users in this state, regardless of what anybody else thinks.

PS Don't pass construction equipment like that without full recognition between you and the other party and use another part of the road or an alternate route if necessary. You have no clue of any hazards above or below otherwise possibly and if he yelled at you he was no doubt concerned about safety for both of you. Those lifts are for high reaches, not rock solid stability.
Maybe I wasn't clear about the manlift. He wasnt working in the road, he was driving down it (at 5 MPH) no "road work" sign, no flaggers (also no High Viz, Hard Hat or PFA equipment.) he was DRIVING A MANLIFT ON A BUSY ROAD AT 5 MPH AND STILL EXPECTED ME TO YIELD RIGHT OF WAY WHEN HE HAD THE YIELD SIGN, because "motor" I guess. Also Manlifts are meant to be stable- they have an onboard computer that detects when the weight exceeds the allowable limits and stops the motor. (I know I have done this at work). They also weigh- 25000-35000 lbs for a reason.
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Old 05-17-19, 11:37 AM
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Oh...

I hit that one quite regularly.

What is your route?

I'm usually heading from Springfield towards Goshen.

I find that somewhere either on Main Street, or on the green bridge, I'll "Take the Left Lane", more or less (hanging a bit to the left), then zip around the roundabout. It is FAST!!!

I rarely have many problems just going through it.

Coming back from Goshen to Springfield, one just skims around the edge to the eastbound bridge. The big problem there is I think they made the curbs funnel shaped, so they get narrower before they get wider.
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Old 05-17-19, 11:50 AM
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Oh, if you are going from Franklin Blvd (Goshen/etc), towards Eugene, you can bypass that roundabout completely. That is until they start building more of them.

https://www.strava.com/routes/18955582

The back roads are a bit funky. A rough railroad crossing. But, generally more pleasant than the main roads.
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Old 05-17-19, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
We don't use the roads, you can see here where all the mup works around a roundabout via underpasses. All our roundabouts have this, with bridges or underpasses on main roads, or crossings on small residential roads. Attempting to use a roundabout is suicide. Some people take this one at over 70mph - the speed limit all four ways. It's 200yds from a McDonald's.

That is BIG!!!

The British really like their roundabouts!!!!

We'd probably accomplish the same thing with a spaghetti network of about 20 bridges on the freeway.

As far as the @starkmojo's roundabout in Glenwood, it abuts up next to two bridges over the Willamette river. When I found out about it, I sent a note to the developers about putting a bike underpass under the existing bridges, as well as extending the riverfront bike path from Eugene along the river to this spot. But, unfortunately nothing was done to improve bike access so far.

The city is planning on building a chain of about a half a dozen roundabouts in the half mile stretch of road though the town of Glenwood.

I have to hit that one roundabout periodically as there isn't much choice of alternate routes, but I generally avoid the streets through Glenwood. Just too much traffic, too high of speeds, and just overall stressful. And, I can generally avoid them by going on bike paths on the other side of the river if I'm not heading south.
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Old 05-18-19, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Oh...

I hit that one quite regularly.

What is your route?

I'm usually heading from Springfield towards Goshen.

I find that somewhere either on Main Street, or on the green bridge, I'll "Take the Left Lane", more or less (hanging a bit to the left), then zip around the roundabout. It is FAST!!!

I rarely have many problems just going through it.

Coming back from Goshen to Springfield, one just skims around the edge to the eastbound bridge. The big problem there is I think they made the curbs funnel shaped, so they get narrower before they get wider.
Going that way isnt bad because you can take the "bus only" lane and slip by on the right. Going the other way (From Goshen to Eugene) you have to get in the left lane of the first rotary (and the Springfield bound traffic going north on Franklin doesnt want to let you over) and then cross the Eugene to Springfield bound traffic, get in the right lane to the rotary to get on the bike lane (which suddenly at the EMX stop a few blocks away, forcing you into traffic... but I digress). Each lane crossing involves some risk. People drive to fast through the rotary, dont yield to bikes in the rotary (even though I am going the posted speed of 15 MPH. I tried using the crosswalk but no one stops for pedestrians in the crosswalks there.
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Old 05-19-19, 02:20 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by starkmojo View Post
Going that way isnt bad because you can take the "bus only" lane and slip by on the right. Going the other way (From Goshen to Eugene) you have to get in the left lane of the first rotary (and the Springfield bound traffic going north on Franklin doesnt want to let you over) and then cross the Eugene to Springfield bound traffic, get in the right lane to the rotary to get on the bike lane (which suddenly at the EMX stop a few blocks away, forcing you into traffic... but I digress). Each lane crossing involves some risk. People drive to fast through the rotary, dont yield to bikes in the rotary (even though I am going the posted speed of 15 MPH. I tried using the crosswalk but no one stops for pedestrians in the crosswalks there.
See my notes above.

I certainly don't get into a protected bus lane.
Headed West on Main St, then south on Franklin:

Move into the left lane on Main St. Start moving over early as it is easy to get stuck in the right lane, and then have a big hassle getting left. I've moved over on my road bike as early as 10th street when moving fast with traffic, but generally find a hole sometime when crossing the green bridge to move over to the left side of the road.

Entering the first roundabout, it is rare to see vehicles making the circle from Franklin North to Glenwood West.

I just hit the left around the first roundabout, and then come out on Franklin Southbound. I've never had issues with cars not stopping for me, although Yesterday I had a car slowly coasting through the yield into the roundabout. I kept my speed up and got through before the vehicle entered.
Going straight through, from Springfield to Eugene,

I rarely hit the roundabout. If I am going all the way through, from Springfield to Eugene, I just go down D-Street, and hit the bike paths on the north side of the river, avoiding the roundabout completely.

If I'm planning to go to say Roaring Rapids Pizza, I've at times taken the sidewalk over the bridge, and stayed to the side of the roundabout. Or, as you mention, in the right lane, it shouldn't be bad.
Going from Goshen towards Springfield, north on Franklin, East on South A.

I just skirt around the edge of the roundabout. I think the city is trying to route one onto the sidewalk, but I generally stay on the street. One hits a short curved section of road. Unfortunately, the curbs on both sides seem to be funnel shaped, and rather dangerous if a car should choose to attempt to pass on the curve.
Going from Goshen towards Eugene, north on Franklin, west through Glenwood.

It depends a bit on the ultimate destination, but as mentioned, I usually would turn early on the road past UPS, hop across the RR tracks, then cut over to the road by the dump, and back to Franklin. Half block on Franklin, then over to the bike paths by the crane place. Thus avoiding the roundabout

I'm not sure I've actually hit the roundabout going that direction. It would be rare for me.
Going from Eugene, through Glenwood, the South on Franklin

I really don't like riding on Franklin through Glenwood, so like above, I normally would cut off at the Garbage Dump, then weave around over the RR tracks, and come out at UPS, and then back to Franklin southbound.
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